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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

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Holy Week

Isaiah 49:1-6
Psalm 71
John 13:21-33, 36-38

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" 'You will lay down your life for Me, will you?' Jesus answered." —John 13:38

Peter said that he would lay down his life for Jesus (Jn 13:37). Eventually he did, although he first denied Christ three times (Lk 22:57-61).

Likewise, we say in so many words that we are willing to lay down our lives for Jesus. Isn't that the implication of receiving Jesus in Holy Communion? Isn't that our commitment when we renew our baptismal promises? Hopefully, we, like Peter, will live up to our commitment and give everything to Jesus, even if we must die for Him.

Possibly, we are also like Peter in denying Christ several times. Although it's terrible to deny Christ three times (or even once), it would probably be a great improvement for most of us if we denied Christ only three times. Every time we sin we deny Him. We deny Him when we give Him the "silent treatment" and refuse to publicly express our love for Him. We deny Him when we ignore Him and don't bother to talk to Him — or listen to Him.

We are like Peter, except that we may be worse than Peter. May we also be like Peter after he received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. From this Holy Week onward, may we live and die for love of Jesus.

Prayer:  Jesus, I lay down my life for love of You.

Promise:  "Though I thought I had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength, yet my reward is with the Lord." —Is 49:4

Praise:  Although Gale is homebound she prays for the missionaries who risk their lives to spread the gospel.

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our tape Jesus, the Redeemer on audio AV 50-3 or video V-50.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 14, 2007

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